by Marina KHALIZEVA, journalist
The accident at the Fukusima Nuclear Power Station that took place in Japan in 2011 as a result of a destructive earthquake and the tsunami that followed urged on development of safety systems for nuclear stations. In this context, the experience and know-how offered by Russian scientists stir up indubitable interest. Several years after the disaster at the Chernobyl NPS (Ukrainian SSR, 1986), our design engineers offered an original invention-- the so-called trap for melt or a device for localization and cooling of fuel masses in cases of severe accidents leading to melting of a core. This device was installed at some national and foreign nuclear plants and was acknowledged worldwide as a reliable "security blanket". In critical situations it can retain nuclear fuel for an indefinite period of time, preventing products of radioactive decomposition from exceeding the bounds of the nuclear reactor, thus protecting the population and the environment from radiation. This essential element of any modern nuclear plant was developed by scientific institutions of the state corporation for nuclear power Rosatom in cooperation with its partners from academic institutes.
Before the Chernobyl disaster, nuclear power industry was considered one of the main sources of power supply. The industry achieved its heyday in 1980-1985: the total capacity of nuclear plants operating at that time was 117 MW, and development programs promised further increase of this indicator. But a technogenic tragedy in a small Ukrainian satellite town Pripyat broke the plans--after 1986 active construction of power generating facilities was stopped, and in the 1990s the number of shut-down reactors exceeded the number of commissioned ones. After national referendums held in Sweden, Italy and Austria, these countries adopted a decision to stop operation of nuclear plants; Germany gradually took out of operation power generating units construct ... Читать далее